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Old 06-28-2005, 08:50 PM   #1
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Aftermarket stereo installation

Yeah! The wife said "better get a new stereo before our road trip!"

I'm looking at an Alpine unit and wondered if anyone had any advice to offer me for wiring it into my boxster's existing amp. Should I use something like this from crutchfield?

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-ZrMsskQrh3i/cgi-bin/prodview.asp?i=127OEM2

Or, should I just wire it straight out to the speakers and yank out the factory amp?

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Old 06-28-2005, 09:25 PM   #2
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Hey Randall,
I'm in the process of redoing my whole system on my '98.....Pulled the amp, head unit, removed the existing connected wires running from the head unit to the amp(the worst part!), installed new speakers in the dash and doors without removing the stock grilles.....Tomorrow I mount the new amp and head unit and connect everything to the amp.....

Take it from me, if you want to make things easy on yourself, just get a new head unit and wiring harness for it, and wire the speakers up to it.....Unless you're going to upgrade with a new amp as well, its not worth the hassle.....The existing wiring configuration on the Nokia is pretty crappy, no info to tell you where input, output, or L and R speaker connections, its all by number on a plastic clip.....My CR220 head unit at least had input and output diagrams on the back....

Have fun pulling wires thru the existing grommets as well, the rubber grommets in the firewall had a tube extension on them, and they were packed tight with electrical tape inside of them as well.....7+ years of heat practically melted the tape and the rubber grommet together.....I had to slice the rubber grommet tube to get some of the wires pulled out that ran from the existing head unit...

Have fun! You'll get to know your car even better!
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1998 Guards Red Black/Black 5 sp.

Work done '06 :Replaced bad hose and clamps from reservoir tank
oil change and filter
replaced seals on both cam covers
brakes bled and refilled
Replaced bent rear right lower control arm
Front air dams and 3 underbody panels replaced
Halogen headlamps replaced
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:23 AM   #3
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I am assuming that my process will be the following. Anyone who's done this is free to chime in and tell me if I'm on the right track or need to change my plan...

1. Pull my existing radio and unplug it.
2. Use my plug diagram (found on the web for my Porsche head unit) to label each wire.
3. Cut the wires off the existing plugs and solder them to the new wiring harness that comes with my head unit or an aftermarket one (such as the Crutchfield one I put a link to above)
4. Plug in the wiring harness on the head unit and install the new head unit.

I guess my question is one of laziness at this point. Does anyone make a wiring harness that will allow me to simply plug in the Porsche speaker plugs into it and avoid the cutting and soldering, which may cause me to wire it up wrong if I am not careful?

PLEASE post a web link to a place I can find one of these if they exist.
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:38 PM   #4
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Check crutchfield

Hey randall check w/ crutchfield. I am not sure if they have it for a porsche or not but all the other cars i bought stereos for they made a plug and play adapter for stereo-to-stock wiring harness. If they have it let us know i would love to put an aftermarket stereo in my car but hate dealing w/ the wiring issues.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:58 AM   #5
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I checked with Crutchfield... it's hard wiring for the Boxster. No plugs available.
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:52 PM   #6
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Randall,
My advice on the wiring harness is to email caraudioinnovations.com , or access their site and talk to Rod, he set me up with my wiring harness for my Boxster. They specialize in Porsche stereo setups, and they can hook you up with an adapter for your wiring harness which should plug right in.

Give it a try, real friendly people!
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1998 Guards Red Black/Black 5 sp.

Work done '06 :Replaced bad hose and clamps from reservoir tank
oil change and filter
replaced seals on both cam covers
brakes bled and refilled
Replaced bent rear right lower control arm
Front air dams and 3 underbody panels replaced
Halogen headlamps replaced
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Old 06-30-2005, 08:30 PM   #7
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I emailed them. Thanks so much!
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:03 PM   #8
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Share the wealth...

Randal, I'd be very interested to learn what you find out regarding the harness. How it works, price, etc.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:47 AM   #9
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I went to caraudioinnovations.com and called them just now. They sell a wiring harness that receives the molex plugs that one would remove from the factory head unit. In electronics terms, our cars are wired with the male ends and they have the female ends attached to bare wires.

$22.00 plus s/h of about $5.

Now I can take the Alpine wiring harness and solder the wires to this new wiring harness and I will not have to sit in my car with a soldering gun (I've done it a half dozen times on other cars and it's a pain in the arse).

Hope this helps all you aftermarket stereo DIY guys with a source for the right connectors.

I will post pics of the wiring it up project and put them on my site with a link here in a few weeks.
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:14 AM   #10
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I'm glad you were able to contact them.....They helped me out tremendously with my system with detailed instructions and some mighty fine components ....I had never installed a stereo in any car before, and I did the speakers,head unit and amp all by myself, and probably saved several hundred dollars, maybe even a thousand.....The difference in sound is simply amazing too!

Hope things are sounding better soon!
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1998 Guards Red Black/Black 5 sp.

Work done '06 :Replaced bad hose and clamps from reservoir tank
oil change and filter
replaced seals on both cam covers
brakes bled and refilled
Replaced bent rear right lower control arm
Front air dams and 3 underbody panels replaced
Halogen headlamps replaced
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:57 PM   #11
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Somebody please tell me that our boxsters are negative ground vehicles. I already bought an Alpine head unit and doggonit, I don't want to sell it on Ebay at a loss!
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'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:06 PM   #12
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You should get a negative ground wire with the harness on the Alpine, just hook that up to any common grounding connection on the car....If you can't find a bolt to attach it to under the dash, extend a wire to one of the bolts in front of the battery compartment, thats where mine is grounded to....If you have to extend it, let me know, it can be frustrating getting wires past the firewall if you don't know where to look.

Also, as a warning,when you take your old head unit out you'll see a green wire connected to a male terminal on probably your right side of the mounting sleeve. This is part of the anti theft system, if you leave it there and put another head unit in there, it'll possibly read that the unit has been stolen, and will not fully arm. Take the female end off and tape it up and tuck it somewhere where it won't come into contact with any metal parts.

Lou
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1998 Guards Red Black/Black 5 sp.

Work done '06 :Replaced bad hose and clamps from reservoir tank
oil change and filter
replaced seals on both cam covers
brakes bled and refilled
Replaced bent rear right lower control arm
Front air dams and 3 underbody panels replaced
Halogen headlamps replaced
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:23 PM   #13
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Got an email from Rod saying that if I had door speakers the harness the other guy sold me may not work.

So I am thinking of forging ahead without that harness and making this a fourth of July installation project. But, I have questions before I cut any wires...

1) Can I just unplug the amp from the back of my CDR210 and leave it in place for the time being?

2) If I wire up the "right front +" and "right front -" wires that were going into my old unit, will it power both the dash speakers and the door speakers too? Or, do I need to root around and trace wires from the door speakers and dash speakers to the existing head unit? (I sure hope I don't need to do that!)

Here's a copy of a PDF I found on the web for wiring aftermarket units I was planning to use:

http://www.iwantaporsche.net/StereoWiringConfig.pdf
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:58 AM   #14
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It's been a long time since I did the rear speaker kit, but if I remember correctly, the male terminals on the back of the radio were simple flat blades. You might consider going to Radio Shack or Fry's, etc. and get solder or crimp terminals that match. Then you could make the harness up outside the car and just insert the terminals into the connector block. Yes, tedious doing it one by one - but easily swappable if you get something mixed up, and no hot irons and molten metal near all that expensive plastic!

On the earlier question re: negative ground, I'm fairly certain you're safe there based on the wiring diagram and it being a modern car. However, you can easily check it at any bulb location if you use a DC voltmeter to be sure.

One caution: try to use the established electronics ground that is in the dash area (the radio harness being a good source) instead of any random chassis ground. I can't explain the difference, but there is one. You may end up with an ignition noise issue if you use a chassis ground (there are filters that can fix this, but why go there?).

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:52 PM   #15
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I am now staring at my new aftermarket Alpine head unit in the box. I'm scared silly to start cutting wires off that molex connector plugged into the back of my Becker head unit.

My fear is that the wires going to the speakers are coming out of the amplifier and heading straight to the speakers... which means I will have to run new wires to each of the speakers instead of just soldering my wiring harness to the wires in the existing connector.

Am I right or wrong on this?

I thought this was going to be simple, but the Crutchfield tech support guy (who was nice enough to talk to me even though I did not buy anything from them) told me the wires go from the stereo to the amp and then to the speakers.

While this makes all kinds of sense, I still find it odd the way the plugs are in the back of my Becker unit.

Has anyone cut those wires and used a diagram like the one I posted above straight to a wiring harness for an aftermarket unit with success, or did you run new speaker wires to each speaker?
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:23 PM   #16
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To answer a question.....Yes, the speaker wires run from the amp to the speakers.
The head unit is like the brains of the stereo system.....It tells the amp what to do.....If you take out the Becker head unit you will see that the lines out left and right, are on a yellow plug on top. The big difference between Becker and I think all aftermarket head units is that aftermarket units have DIN cables for their output, Becker uses wires. Why they did this I have no idea, its totally different. This is why I said that you'd be better off running the speaker wire straight to your head unit, I should have told you about the line out issue, I'm sorry I didn't mention it before. The other option I can see is to get yourself an aftermarket amp and keep the new head unit, or pull the speaker wires off the existing amp and run them to your new head unit. One more option just popped into my head as well......Splice the end of the DIN output cables on your new head unit, and attach them to the existing output wires which were on your Becker(the ones leading from the yellow clip). Just cut those wires making sure to tag them L and R, and you may be alright with that......These things can be a headache, because Beckers just aren't aftermarket friendly in their design....

Good luck!
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1998 Guards Red Black/Black 5 sp.

Work done '06 :Replaced bad hose and clamps from reservoir tank
oil change and filter
replaced seals on both cam covers
brakes bled and refilled
Replaced bent rear right lower control arm
Front air dams and 3 underbody panels replaced
Halogen headlamps replaced
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:35 PM   #17
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Lou,

OK, then I'm gonna yank my Becker unit, unplug the top yellow connector, cut those wires and label each one, solder them to the Alpine wiring harness and see what happens.

If I screw it up, I'll take it to Tweeter on Wednesday and let them fix my mess up!
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'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:03 PM   #18
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One more thing Randall!
On the lower plug on the Becker, you'll see a connection for the power antenna.....I believe its in spot # 5.......Your wiring harness with the Alpine should probably have a connection for the antenna as well, so cut that wire on the Becker and connect to the antenna wire on your Becker.

The switched power terminal, spot#6 on the yellow upper Becker plug, needs to be connected to your power amp wire on your wiring harness as well.....This will switch the power on to your amp when you turn on your head unit....

I think thats it!
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1998 Guards Red Black/Black 5 sp.

Work done '06 :Replaced bad hose and clamps from reservoir tank
oil change and filter
replaced seals on both cam covers
brakes bled and refilled
Replaced bent rear right lower control arm
Front air dams and 3 underbody panels replaced
Halogen headlamps replaced
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:07 PM   #19
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Lou, I was not planning to use my factory amp whatsoever. The Alpine unit I bought has the same power in the head unit as the factory amp has.

I sure would like to have a five minute phone conversation with you. It would clear up a lot of my questions and get me off your back, I promise! Check your private messages for my cell phone number or PM me your number. I promise I won't waste your time.
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'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 07-05-2005, 03:04 PM   #20
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Update on aftermarket stereo systems.

I have door speakers. The amp in our cars (if you have one) is a six channel amp that routes the low frequencies to the woofers in the doors and midrange and high to the dash speakers as well as the rear speakers.

Tomorrow, I will take my new Alpine head unit (which has 4 channels in it, not six) to a professional installer at Tweeter to see how to get it in and working right. I may have to purchase an aftermarket amp or crossover or both. I will keep you all posted on what it cost and what had to be done to drive the existing speakers in the car properly.

If you are shopping for an installer, insure they've worked on Porsches before. The guy that I'm using at Tweeter told me he's done lots of Carreras and mine will not be that different.

I'm betting I'll have to spend extra $$ to get this head unit I bought working right.

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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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